Here's Why 'Revenge Is Sweet' According to Science

Admin | Published 2017-01-11 01:35

Do you know that warm feeling you get after getting back at someone? Well, scientists found the link between retaliation and its psychological reward.

If you know someone who is so hung up on getting revenge more than other people you know or more than you do, there must be a natural inclination for them to do so. And that's where our experts come in. According to a new study called Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, social rejection has an effect on how individuals respond to those who caused them those unwanted feelings. So the study does seem to suggest that there is a need for a mood reward to alleviate the corresponding unpleasant feeling that comes with being rejected. I mean, we've seen how some people lash out after being dumped by their lovers or after being left out on special moments. It can sometimes lead them to committing acts that they will regret later, or even to the point of committing crimes. David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall, the authors of the study, asked 156 participants to write an essay of which those half of the participants would be set up for rejection like receiving a negative feedback and not receiving as much ball pass as the others. The researchers had to measure their mood before and after giving those who felt rejected a chance to make themselves better with a symbolic form of aggression: sticking pins on voodoo dolls that would represent the person who gave them that perceived nasty feedback. The experts found out that after getting those dejected people to express their feelings aggressively on to those voodoo dolls, they repaired their mood as though nothing unpleasant happened to them beforehand. To investigate if aggressive behavior is a result of seeking a better mood after rejection, the researchers made all participants play a computer-based 'ball passing' game among two other players. One of them will have to be set-up for another rejection of not receiving a pass equally than those other two players. In another set, those rejected players were given a chance to retaliate in a game of  ‘first to the buzzer’ race. If those players got to the buzzer faster, they could control the loudness of the blast.  Most of the time the rejected participants did use the chance to fire loud blasts to those who rejected them earlier. But the scientists provided placebo pills to some individuals in the rejected group, telling them that the pill would fix their mood. When the individuals were told that the 'mood pill' had already taken effect, their retaliation mood decreased. In fact, they were settling to a mood similar to those who did not feel rejected at all.

Chester and DeWall emphasized that “to obtain the positive affect associated with retaliatory aggression, individuals may actively seek out provocation in their daily lives.”

Source: digest.bps.org.uk See: Any Physical Activity Really Does Improve Our Emotional Well-Being
Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!